After presenting Robbie with a checked flat cap which he said was “your hat from many years ago”, customer service advisor and Williams superfan Andy Hofton kicked off his audition with a questionable track of his own. But when Simon Cowell cut ‘Castle of Love’ short and asked Andy to instead perform his second song, the strains of Robbie’s own Angels drew cheers and screams of “Robbie!” from the audience.
“I think you need a bit of help,” Robbie told a stunned Andy as he headed on stage to join in.
Audience and judges were on their feet as the pair duetted for almost three minutes, before Robbie left Andy to finish the song and enjoy his moment of glory.
“You sang one of my favourite songs with my favourite person,” said new judge, and Robbie’s wife, Ayda Field afterwards, “so it’s a ‘yes’ from me.”
“You’ve come on with so much heart,” said Robbie. “I’m glad that I’ve been entertained by you and it’s a ‘yes’ too.
“You put your heart and soul into it and it’s a ‘yes’ from me,” added fellow judging debutant, One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson, before head judge Simon Cowell gave his verdict: “How can I say no to something that was one of my favourite auditions? I’ve got to say yes…”